[www.inewsguyana.com] – In the battle against child sexual assault, the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) of the Ministry of Social Protection, working with its Non-Governmental Partners (NGOs) has been able to support the creation of three additional advocacy centres.
To this end, centres or one-stop shops as they are coined have now been established in Regions, 2, 3, 4 and 5 that will support a multi-disciplinary themed approach in the fight against child sexual abuse. Head of CCPA, Ann Greene told the Government Information Agency today of this development.
These centres establish a safe, child-friendly, neutral and confidential place that bring together, in one place, all professionals involved in the investigation and treatment of suspected child abuse cases. These centres also provide support to victims, witnesses and their families.
Greene told GINA that particular focus is on forensic investigation, so that those who are sexually abused, “they only have to tell the hurt and pain just once. It is recorded, so that the police can hear and whoever is in need of it. They have it recorded so that the victim really does not have to tell it over and over.”
It is hoped that with the operations of these centres there will now be more seamless coordinated support for child victims of sexual abuse and the minimising of the system-induced trauma for these children, youth and their families.
The centres also look at the follow-up work for the victims, with particular focus on the provision of therapeutic treatment for the victims. They get a chance to heal, Greene explained.
“Sexual abuse is so devastating to a child and they need the help to deal with the whole trauma, so the centres are able to do that, work with the children for the traumatic services that are needed following the abuse,” she said.
The advocacy centres are manned by the NGOs whilst the CCPA handles the referrals of the cases to the centre. Child Sexual abuse is the second highest reported cases to the CCPA.